Central Bistro and Bar, the six month old LoHi eatery, received two stars from the Denver Post in the newspaper's first review of 2013. Restaurant critic Bill Porter remarked that the influence of chef Lance Barto, a Strings alum who opened Central and designed the menu but left the restaurant last week, is still present in the dining offerings. While Porter was not a fan of the delicata squash with bacon risotto, which he found to be cooked down to a porridge, the duck breast entrée, as well as appetizers like the mac-and-cheese studded with Dungeness crab and the braised pork belly with Brussels sprouts hash were sure winners.
Aside from the food offerings, Porter listed the classic beverage menu and pointed out the inescapable HOT sign above the kitchen, the cheerfulness of the waitstaff, and the sometimes funk-centric '70's music that accompanies the dining experience.
On 5280's Table Talk, food editor Amanda Faison raved about Sassafras, the Southern food eatery located in an old house in the Jefferson Park neighborhood. Faison highlighted the menu, full of staples like biscuits and gravies, gumbo, beignets, and po' boys, and advised diners to not miss the fried green tomatoes, which can be ordered folded into an eggs Benedict or tucked into a sandwich.
· Central Bistro and Bar Living Up to its HOT Buzz [DP]
· Order This: Sassafras' Fried Green Tomato Sandwich 
· Eater 38: Denver's Essential Restaurants [EDen]
· 12 Biggest Dining and Food Stories of 2012 [EDen]